- to seize and hold by or as if by clasping with the fingers or arms.
- to seize upon; hold firmly.
- to get hold of mentally; comprehend; understand: I don't grasp your meaning.
- to make an attempt to seize, or a motion of seizing, something (usually followed by at or for): a drowning man grasping at straws; to grasp for an enemy's rifle.
- the act of grasping or gripping, as with the hands or arms: to make a grasp at something.
- a hold or grip: to have a firm grasp of a rope.
- one's arms or hands, in embracing or gripping: He took her in his grasp.
- one's power of seizing and holding; reach: to have a thing within one's grasp.
- hold, possession, or mastery: to wrest power from the grasp of a usurper.
- mental hold or capacity; power to understand.
- broad or thorough comprehension: a good grasp of computer programming.
Origin of grasp
Synonyms for grasp
Antonyms for grasp
- to grip (something) firmly with or as if with the hands
- (when intr, often foll by at) to struggle, snatch, or grope (for)
- (tr) to understand, esp with effort
- the act of grasping
- a grip or clasp, as of a hand
- the capacity to accomplish (esp in the phrase within one's grasp)
- total rule or possession
- understanding; comprehension
Word Origin for grasp
mid-14c., "to reach for, feel around," possibly a metathesis of grapsen, from Old English *græpsan "to touch, feel," from Proto-Germanic *grap-, *grab- (cf. East Frisian grapsen "to grasp," Middle Dutch grapen "to seize, grasp," Old English grapian "to touch, feel, grope"), from PIE root *ghrebh- (see grab). Sense of "seize" first recorded mid-16c. Figurative use from c.1600; of intellectual matters from 1680s. Related: Grasped; grasping. The noun is from 1560s.
In addition to the idiom beginning with grasp
- grasp at straws
- get a fix on (grasp of)